What’s that saying on all those motivational posters and at the end of nearly every pep talk? In the end, you won’t remember every little fact that you learned in class, or the paper you wrote for Core 3 – college is, really, mostly about your life outside of the classroom.
As of today, I have 75 days left as an undergraduate at Fairleigh Dickinson University. 75 days left in a dormitory. 75 days left as a resident assistant. 1,800 hours left living 20 feet away from my best friends. A little over two months – it’s crazy, when you think about it.
I woke up in a panic one morning a few weeks ago because I was convinced that in nearly four years of school, I hadn’t really done anything. I mean sure, I’ve “done” things, but I felt like I hadn’t really done anything.
What if, when I’m an old lady, the only really solid memories I have of college are the inside of a classroom and the giant pile of laundry in my apartment?
It brought me back to a movie I had watched over the summer with my parents, “Yes Man.” The basic premise of the movie is that after attending a seminar, the main character, played by Jim Carrey, pledges to say “yes” to everything in his life – making plans, letting people borrow money from him, absolutely everything. It winds up leading him to a girl, who, of course, he inevitably falls in love with.
I enjoyed the movie, but didn’t really think about it much until recently, probably after realizing how much it connected to my own life.
How many nights have you stayed in because you “were tired?” How many trips did you take a rain check on because you were “writing a paper?” If you’re anything like me, then probably more than you care to admit.
In my years as an underclassman, I was under the very typical assumption that, naturally, I was going to be in college forever. Three and a half years til graduation? That’ll never come.
Even last semester, it didn’t really hit me that this was my chance, so I could sort of justify spending an evening in. “Oh man, I have so much work to do tonight.”
No, I don’t, I just want to sit around and look up recipes for vegan lasagna on StumbleUpon.
With 108,000 minutes until I walk at graduation with my friends, it’s time to me to become a Yes Man.
(Well, woman, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as nicely.)
At first it was something that was a little intimidating to me. I mean, I already have a pretty busy schedule – who doesn’t? – shouldn’t I be using my free nights to relax?
The answer is no. No, I should not. There is plenty of time to sit around when I’m working a 9 to 5, or on maternity leave, or hanging out playing bingo when I’m an old woman. It’s time for me to realize that I will never be 21 years old again.
While I don’t have money or material possessions to lend out like Jim Carrey’s character did in the movie, the concept extends to saying “yes” to opportunities that may never come up again and making incredible memories.
You’re not going to care if your GPA goes from a 3.2 to a 3.3, but you holed yourself away in your room and never got to experience those “greatest four years of your life” that everyone talks about.
Now, I’m not saying to be completely irresponsible about your studies – an education is why we’re here, after all, and grades are important – but we shouldn’t use it as an excuse to be a hermit.
We shouldn’t pass up opportunities to go out because we’re “short on cash.” Everyone is short on cash, but the good thing about money is that there are lots of ways to make it back.
I implore you, reader, to make yourself a Yes Man. Maybe not all the time – but baby steps is what it’s all about.
Go out this weekend.
Make plans for Spring Break.
Get out there and make some memories.
Just don’t ask me to borrow any money.